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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  July 29, 2015 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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[captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica this is democracy now! >> it is right and timely that we hold this meeting today to address the instability on turkey's doorstep and nato's border. nato is following developments closely and we stand in strong solidarity with our allies in turkey. amy: nato gives its backing to
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turkey as turkish jets launch their heaviest assault on kurdish militants in northern iraq since air strikes began last week, ending a two year truce. turkey is now bombing both sides of the same war, attacking militants from the islamic state as well as kurdish fighters who have been fighting isil for the past year. we'll get the latest. then we turn to what could be a major victory for human rights advocates here in the united states. a federal judge has issued a harsh condemnation of the mass detention of immigrant women and children, calling conditions in the privately-run facilities "deplorable." we will speak to a whistleblower who worked at a family detention center in texas and hear the words of one immigrant who just testified on capitol hill. >> always says to me mommy i am here. he asks me are we going back to room number 108.
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amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in turkey, the military has carried out its heaviest assault on kurdish militants in northern iraq since air strikes began last week effectively ending a two year truce. turkey has launched combat operations on two fronts. one against the self-proclaimed islamic state in syria, and another against the kurdish worker's party, or pkk, inside turkey and in northern iraq, where the pkk has been fighting against iso-for the past year. during an emergency session in brussels tuesday, nato offered support for turkey's military campaigns, although some member states expressed unease over the crackdown against the kurds. we'll have more on turkey later -- after headlines. president obama has wrapped up his historic visit to kenya and ethiopia with an address to the
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african union. in his speech, obama called on the continent's long-entrenched leaders to step aside, saying quote "nobody should be president for life." the address marked the first time a us sitting president has spoken before african union. president: i think i am a good president. i think if i ran i could win -- president obama: i think i'm a pretty good president. i think if i ran i could win but i can't. [applause] president obama: there is a lot i would like to do to keep america moving, but the law is the law. amy: the comments come after a third term was won. in news from afghanistan, the government and intelligence sources are reporting that the leader of the taliban mullah
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omar has died. this is the first time the afghan government has confirmed -- officials have confirmed reports of omar's death. the taliban has not confirmed the information, but it has told the bbc that it will soon issue a statement. in news from europe, at least one migrant has died after 1500 people tried to enter the eurotunnel in calais, france, in efforts to reach england. yesterday's death comes after 2000 migrants attempted enter the eurotunnel on monday night. british home secretary teresa may met with french officials tuesday to discuss the growing number of migrants crossing into europe and through the eurotunnel into england as they flee violence in africa, syria and iraq. secretary teresa may spoke about the plans to increase security measures. secretary may: we agreed we will work together to return migrants typically to west africa to ensure that the journey does not
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lead to them coming to europe and being able to settle in europe. the french government has been putting in extra resources and the u.k. government will be pushing it up to 7 million pounds more to ensure the security of the euro tunnel. amy: in news from the dominican republic, hundreds of haitians rallied and protested to demand the return of over $100,000, which they say was paid to secure immigration papers that never arrived. earlier this year, the dominican republic stripped hundreds of thousands of haitians of their legal status and announced that it would begin deporting those who did not secure proper immigration papers. the move set thousands scrambling to secure papers, but now many say that although they paid for the documents, they have not yet arrived. jesus nunez, the coordinator of the national union of sugarcane workers, spoke at the protest. jesus: we are calling for the 4,608,000 pesos that were deposited in the name of the haitian embassy to be returned.
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until now, not one sugarcane worker has a certificate, identity card, or a passport. amy: in finland, as many as 15,000 people attended rallies and protests tuesday to denounce recent comments by an elected official that multiculturalism was quote "a nightmare." the lawmaker is from the finns party, the second-largest in parliament, which has backed strict immigration laws. many are now calling for the official's resignation. in news from washington, the proponents of the iran nuclear deal have gained key allies this week, including famed actor morgan freeman and representative sander levin, who is the longest-serving jewish congressperson. this support comes as secretary of state john kerry warned that rejecting the deal could lead to iran gaining nuclear weapons. in a now viral video released tuesday, morgan freeman and other actors and comedians called on congress to approve the deal.
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morgan: ultimately could be forced into another war with iran, a drawnout and expensive metal in the middle east with lives lost. amy: the united states parole commission has announced that israeli spy jonathan pollard will be released in november. pollard is a former u.s. intelligence officer convicted of passing u.s. secrets to israel. he was sentenced to life in prison. the announcement of his parole comes as the united states attempts to appease israel following the iran nuclear deal. amnesty international has said there is "strong evidence" that israel committed war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity during its assault on gaza last summer. in a report released today amnesty international chronicled the israeli assault on the gaza city of rafah, describing a
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quote "relentless and massive bombardment of residential areas, displaying a shocking disregard for civilian lives." israel has denounced the report. on the israeli side, 73 people killed, all but six of them soldiers. authorities in waller county, texas, have released video of sandra bland entering the jail in efforts to dispel rumors that she was already dead when she entered the facility. sandra bland was found dead in her jail cell three days she was arrested for failing to signal a lane change. authorities have said that she committed suicide, a claim that -- video shows the officer
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threatening to light her up. authorities have said she committed suicide in jail, a claim that her family rejects. tuesday, waller county judge trey duhon released the footage of bland entering the jail following her arrest. judge duhon: because some of the things going on on social media this county has been literally under attack, under cyber attack the individuals, like the group called anonymous, who is claiming that sandra bland is deceased in the mug shot. you will see video that will show she was alive and well when her mug shot was taken. amy: meanwhile, a 37-year-old african american woman named ralkina jones was found dead in a jail cell in cleveland, ohio on sunday. jones is at least the second african american woman to die in a jail cell since sandra bland's death two weeks ago. she was arrested after a dispute with her ex-husband on friday. cleveland authorities are investigating her death.
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in a similar case, news reports surfaced yesterday of the death of a 24-year-old lakota woman named sarah lee circle bear, who was found dead in a jail cell on july 6 in aberdeen, south dakota. she had been arrested on a violation of her bond. sarah lee circle bear had told her jailers that she was in pain, but they had told her to quote "knock it off" and "quit faking it." when she was later found unresponsive, she was transferred to a nearby hospital, where she died. in cincinnati, ohio, they are -- an ohio prosecutor is refusing to release body camera video from the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man during a traffic stop, but top officials -- the tape has been reviewed and it has been described as
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quote "not good." in news from el salvador, bus drivers have stopped work after two of the el salvador's deadliest gangs instructed bus drivers to go on strike. the order has crippled transportation in the capital city of san salvador. the move comes as the two gangs attempt to gain leverage in order to pressure the government to negotiate with them over the conditions of their imprisoned members. at least five bus drivers were found dead on monday, one day -- in portland, oregon, a group monday. of environmental "kayaktivists" set forth in kayaks to block a shell icebreaking vessel as it attempted to leave the harbor for oil-drilling operations in the arctic. activists also repelled from a bridge to create an "aerial blockade" of the vessel. the interior department has warned there is a 75 percent chance of an oil spill in the arctic once shell begins drilling. oil giant has -- bp has reported an unusually high $5.8 billion loss in the second quarter reflecting falling oil prices and the substantial settlement over the gulf of mexico oil spill in 2010.
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the announcement of the losses comes as financial times has reported that oil companies have delayed new projects worth a total $200 billion as the price -- billion dollars. in total, companies have delayed projects because they would be unprofitable at the current level of oil prices. trade ministers from pacific rim countries are continuing secret talks on the trans-pacific parternship trade pact at a luxury hotel in hawaii. the talks are the first since congress granted president obama fast-track authority to push the deal through congress on an up-or-down vote with no amendments. japanese trade minister akira amari cited progress. minister amari: all things considered, with the 12 nations involved, we are working toward a result by the deadline. amy: leaked drafts show a provision of the tpp would allow foreign corporations to sue countries in special tribunals over laws they say could hurt
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their future profits. this comes as a canadian gold-mine developer has filed a request for arbitration with a similar tribunal, the world bank's international center for settlement of investment disputes, after protests in romania stalled efforts to build europe's largest open-pit gold mine. the white house has responded to a petition calling for the pardon of nsa whistleblower edward snowden, two years after it received more than 100,000 signatures. that threshold is supposed to guarantee a response from the white house, but the response took more than two years. on tuesday, lisa monaco, obama's advisor on homeland security and counterterrorism, rejected the call for a pardon and called for snowden to quote "accept the consequences of his actions." zimbabwean officials are searching for an american dentist who shot a well-known and protected lion with a crossbow. cecil the lion was allegedly lured illegally out of hwange national park where he had protected status.
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walter james palmer allegedly paid $54,000 to hunt the beloved lion. two zimbabwean men have been arrested for their role in the lion's death. academy award-winning filmmaker michael moore will release a new film at the toronto international film festival in september. titled "where to invade next," the film is moore's first since his 2009 movie "capitalism: a love story." moore said the new film is about "the issue of the united states at infinite war." michael: i do not think there is anyone triggered. we are all living in this time we are living in certainly post 9/11, and every thing that has gone on in this country and this constant need, it seems, to always have to have an enemy -- where is the next enemy, so that we can keep the military-industrial complex alive and keep the companies that make a lot of money from this in business.
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so, i have always been bothered by that. amy: and the peace activist and educator jerry berrigan has died at home in syracuse, new york, at the age of 95. the brother of fellow activists daniel berrigan and the late philip berrigan, jerry berrigan helped open a refuge for homeless men, and was a regular at protests against hancock field air national guard base, where overseas drones are piloted remotely. after his death sunday, syracuse mayor stephanie miner ordered flags outside city hall lowered to half staff in his honor. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. turkish jets have reportedly launched their heaviest assault on kurdish militants in northern iraq since air strikes began last week effectively ending a two year truce. over the past week the turkish military has launched combat
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operations on two fronts -- one against the self-proclaimed islamic state in syria, and another against kurds inside turkey and in northern iraq, where kurdish groups have been fighting against the islamic state. this means turkey is now essentially bombing both sides of the same war. during an emergency session of nato in brussels tuesday, the body offered support for turkey's military campaigns although some member states expressed unease over the crackdown against the kurds. turkey and the united states both consider the kurdistan workers party or pkk to be a terrorist organization, but the group and its allies has been given credit over the past year for helping in the fight against the islamic state. nato chief jens stoltenberg said the military alliance stands in strong solidarity with turkey which recently opened up its air bases to the u.s.-led coalition fighting the islamic state. chief stoltenberg: terrorism in all of its forms can never be tolerated or justified. it is right and timely that we hold this meeting today to
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address the instability on turkey's doorstep and on nato's border. nato is following developments very closely and we stand in strong solidarity with our ally, turkey. amy: turkey's attacks on the kurds come just a month after the pro-kurdish opposition people's democratic party won 13% of the vote helping to deprive president tayyip erdogan's akp party of a majority in the parliament for the first time since 2002. over the past week turkey has detained more than 1,000 people in a series of raids, many targeting members of kurdish groups. on tuesday, erdogan said it is impossible to continue the peace process with kurdish militants. president erdogan: it is not possible for us to continue the peace process with those that threaten our national unity and brotherhood.
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brotherhood comes above the peace process and it is a comprehensive subject. i want our people to be sure that those who walk in the countryside and in big cities wearing masks and caring guns and patrol bombs will get the necessary response from security forces and judiciary bodies. amy: to talk more about turkey the kurds and the fight against the islamic state we are joined by kani xulam, director of the american kurdish information network in washington, d.c.. welcome to democracy now. can you talk about what is happening in turkey and this rare meeting of nato and what turkey is doing. kani: i can. thanks for having me, amy. amy: so, explain what has taken place this week. kani: first, the nato comment that instability is that the border of turkey or nato's
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doorstep, as he put it, it is really inside turkey. for the last 31 years there has been a big conflict inside turkey between the kurds and the turks. over 40,000 have been killed. the nato secretary did not mention that. as far as the rise of isis and turkey's decision to allow its air base to be used against it, for a year now, kurds on the ground especially inside syria and iraq have been fighting isis. by some accounts, they are the most effective ground troops, boots on the ground that the u.s. has cooperated with, and isis has had major setbacks. all of a sudden now, turkey wants to join the fight, but it really does not want to fight isis. it wants to fight the kurds. i do not know what is going on
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at the white house, hoping that turkey will fight isis. it does not want to. it does not have the desire. it does not have the wish and also soliciting turkish help to fight isis is like using a bloody towel to clean the mess in the kitchen, if you will -- mop the floor, if you will. for two years, three years some 15,000 foreign fighters used turkey as a stepping town to go into syria and turkey was hoping they would topple aside, turn syria into a client state and also fight the kurds. turkey wanted to have its cake and eat it too. now that the fires are being degraded, in the words of president obama by the pkk turkey is very unhappy about it
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and that is why they are called the meeting in brussels. amy: i want to turn to comments made by john kirby, saying that the actions were self-defense and had no connection to the fight against the self-proclaimed islamic state against iso--- isil. mr. kirby: we are grateful for turkey's cooperation to include some of their airbases to go against isil targets particularly in syria. we are grateful for that support. separate from that, turkey has continued to come under attack from pkk terrorists and we recognize their right to defend themselves against those attacks and it was in retaliation for recent attacks against the pkk the turkey conducted these most recent strikes. i understand the coincidence of
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all of this, but it is just that. the attacks against the pkk were in retaliation for attacks they, the turks endured and what they are doing against isil in syria i will let them speak to, but obviously we welcome all coalition member's efforts. amy: that is john kirby. kani xulam, your response. kani: last year isis almost to get over and eggs to the united states government, airdropped on october 19, 2014, on the town
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occupied 80% by isis, the kurds fought back, house to house, street to street and kicked out these isis supporters. as far as this recent incident, on july 20 when one isis militant went to these meetings when activists from kurdistan wanted to go to kobani and build a playground for the kids, a school, and 32 of them were killed. supposedly because of that turkey entered the war, and guess what it did -- it went after the pkk in iraq, 400 authorities, as opposed to several from the british media and isis spokespersons,
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according to british media again, is they have bombed empty buildings. the desire is not there. turkey views assad as a greater threat. assad, for all of his actions have never sold women in the market. they should also talk about the people killed inside turkey. there is a cease-fire for two and a half years, guns have gone silent but 20 kurdish activists have been killed in the meantime and i wish he would also condemn that and say turkey should give peace a chance and resolve this issue and if it cannot resolve this issue, it cannot result the issue inside syria. there has to be peace at home. the house has to be united inside before it can venture out and help next-door neighbor syria or iraq. amy: can you talk about the
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significance of turkey allowing the u.s. to use the air base and if you think that ties into the attack on the kurds? kani: i think it does. it is significant. it is only 100 miles to 200 miles away from the islamic basis, the so-called islamic state basis. president obama wants to tackle this issue, and he wishes to lead a good -- leave a good legacy and he hopes the islamic state will be degraded and destroyed on his watch. the problem is he has picked the wrong partner. he should have supported the kurds, who are willing to fight them, have fought them, and have a good record fighting them. so, he hopes for the good, but i think at the end of the day he may, just like a lot of people in the obama administration
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thought iraq was lost, and the bush administration did that turkey might be lost, too because the fault lines are in syria. the sunni shiite fight line and the minority kurds, and also in iraq -- the same fault lines are in turkey. there is a sunni domination in turkey and that has to come to an end. if nato wants to have a stable partner, it needs to address this issue. some of the members like germany and the u.k. have urged turkey to be proportionate, if you will, and address this issue in a saintly manner but in the last election they lost the majority. they were hoping to get 400 deputies and an absolute ruler.
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now with this war, he is trying to raise jingoistic feelings. he might be able to do that, but i do not think nato should help them do that, the u.s. should help him do that. amy: i want to turn to the leader of the party. doru: what is our crime -- there is no other wrongdoing they can blame us for. we fought for democracy justice, and making the principles of quality and freedom our life mission. mr. president, you panicked
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because the pkk was going to disarm itself. you stopped it. it seems if pkk members come down from the mountains with their weapons he will tell them to stop. he has no intentions. i am saying clearly, brothers, citizens everyone living in turkey has to know that the president of this country has stopped the disarmament of the pkk. amy: that is the leader of turkey's people's democratic party. can you respond? kani: he is compared to obama, but i think he is better than obama. he says you cannot clean blood with blood. turkish government, the turkish president says we should lift
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the immunity of these kurdish deputies and prosecute them for having links to the pkk. they said fine, we will come to you and let's make a deal unity -- in unity of all the deputies, 550 of them, and many of the members of the ak p party where caught red-handed with millions of dollars stashed in shoeboxes in their homes and now the government does not want to prosecute them. because the government lost a majority, if a coalition party goes into power members of the opposition party say we want to investigate that. everyone is panicking. he deserves to go to jail.
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if a cabinet member is found with millions of dollars stashed in shoeboxes in his home, any president would have said that for such should go to jail, that person should be -- discredited. erdogan is protecting them. these are the issues president obama should address, the nato secretary should address, rather than saying the problems are outside of turkey. the our problems inside of turkey, too. amy: thank you for being with us. kani xulam, director of the american kurdish information network. a judge has issued a major ruling that could see hundreds freed from a detention prison in texas. we will bring you the latest. stay with us.
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♪ [music break] amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report.
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i'm amy goodman. as we turn right now to the issue of immigration, what could be a major victory for human rights advocates here in the united states. a federal judge has issued a harsh condemnation of the mass detention of immigrant women and children, calling conditions in the privately-run facilities -- prisons "deplorable." the ruling by u.s. district judge dolly gee gives the obama administration 90 days to either release the more than 2,000 women and children being held in two texas facilities or to show just cause to continue holding them. immigration lawyers say the ruling has already had a "groundbreaking" impact as texas judges have started ordering women and children's release without bond, though many have been forced to wear electronic ankle monitors. republicans are calling on the obama administration to appeal the ruling. but at a hearing tuesday on capitol hill, members of the congressional progressive caucus and house judiciary democrats said the practice must end. this is representative judy chu, democrat from california.
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rep. chu: i was one of those that visited the detention center and i was so shocked at how isolated and baron it was. the first thing i thought was it looks so much like the japanese american internment camp from world war ii. i saw the muddy pathways, the institutional lines, the guards everywhere -- and i was shocked and moved by the desperate plea of hundreds of mothers who came out to say the least me, i am not a criminal, and to scratched out picket signs that were written on their pillowcases and bedsheets. i also remembered how the japanese american internment camps were pitched the american public, as though the federal government was doing this for the safety of japanese-americans. a similar argument has been made
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for detaining families from central america fleeing unspeakable violence. the department of homeland security justifies by sending a message that others are not welcome. after a federal court ruling that such a policy was unconstitutional, i am happy to say dhs will finally no longer be using detention in that way. after calling the internment camp for what it was, a prison for people that were not criminals, we have to call these detention centers what they really are, prisons for people that are not criminals. amy: among those who testified tuesday about conditions for women and children in detention was a recently released mother named sonia hernandez. she explained how, after she came with her three children from el salvador to escape violence and threats to their lives, she was detained 315 days until june 9 of this year at the
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karnes county residential center in karnes, texas, which she compared to a prison. sonia: when my children would get sick, like when they would have a fever as high as three degrees fahrenheit, -- 40 degrees fahrenheit, the only thing i could do was to put them in the shower to lower their fever. when i was -- when they were hungry, i had to buy instant soup to give them soup. sometimes immigration would see that i look like i was not doing well and they told me i should go to a psychiatrist and i said a psychiatrist will not result my problems. the only thing that will solve my problems is to be replaced --
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replete -- released from this place. amy: for more we are joined now from washington, d.c., by two guests, including one who has inside knowledge of the conditions at karnes. olivia lopez is a longtime social worker who began working at karnes last october, but decided to leave her position in april after she says it was clear she had been hired to give the appearance of a well-supported medical unit. she says her efforts to improve documentation of the mothers' care and concerns were repeatedly blocked. we are also joined by barbara hines, longtime immigration lawyer with many clients who are detained family detention centers in texas. we welcome you both to democracy now. you both testified. let's begin with barbara hines. talk about the significance of judge gee's ruling. did you expect this, and what is the scope of it? barbara: i am very pleased with the judge gee's ruling as it confirms with what advocates and
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members of congress have been saying -- running these detention camps is a violation of the florida settlement, a settlement entered in 1996 regarding the treatment of children and the most important pieces of judge gee's ruling is children cannot be housed and security and i'm licensed facilities. these are securities that do not have a welfare license from the state of texas and there is absolutely no independent oversight. the other thing that judge gee recognized is children should be released, family unity is important, and children should be released to the parents, and in this case, parents that were detained with them. amy: and what is the timeline here?
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olivia: well, judge gee gave a certain amount of time for response, and proposes another limitation plan for within 90 days because we have been running illegal detention camps for more than one year, so i hope the government and the obama administration will as quickly as possible exceed two judge gee's ruling. amy: can you talk about the ankle bracelets these women, if they are released, will be forced to wear -- what are they who makes them? barbara: first of all, they are not really ankle bracelets because it does not represent what they are. the women use a word in spanish that means shackle. they are very cumbersome. the batteries do not work. cords are very short. women are almost chained to the
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wall trying to keep these things charged. the government, just like they have done last summer, they never have an individualized determination of flight risk. asylum speakers -- there should be released. instead of saying no bond what ice is doing in a co-aces way is to say that is the only way to get out. i can give you an example of a client. her husband is a lawful permanent resident. she has family ties in the country. she was released on an ankle shackle and her leg swelled up because it was put on too tightly. her daughter says that people look at her when they walk out because normally the people that have these ankle monitors are prisoners and these are women that have suffered such
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traumatic trauma. the children have suffered such tremendous trauma, and without making an individualized determination, whether there are certainly other less intrusive methods for release of the women. so, i think they are a significant problem and not the answer for how to deal with asylum-seekers -- mothers and children. amy: the ankle shackles are made by what company? barbara: they are made by the bi company, and i recently learned they were bought out by geo, the private prison company that runs karnes. as you can see, this is intimately tied into the private industry. amy: they profit either way -- whether they are in prison, geo runs the present, or if they
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have these ankle shackles on them. barbara: that is correct. amy: i want to play an interview by lillian, who was detained and she came to the u.s. seeking asylum from her abusive husband. after she was held for months and grew despond and, she tried to cut her risks. -- her wrists. she describes what happened when she was put on suicide watch. lillian: when they said the move your close to put this on as a punishment, they told me if you do not undress, we will see who is in charge, you or us. we are to rip your clothes off. since i was afraid of that, i had to take my close off. i cried. i did not eat. my life was very sad in that place. i felt like absolutely nothing in that country, and they did not give me the support when i needed it most.
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amy: that was lilian oliva bardales, who was held at the detention center in karnes county. not long after she attempted suicide, she was deported to her home country of honduras. the department of homeland security's office of civil rights and civil liberties has opened an investigation into her case. how do something like this happen, barbara hines? barbara: we were trying to get a hold of her case and we were denied access to her. this, unfortunately, is not an isolated incident. several weeks later we represented another client who also was put on the suicide watch and what i just heard from lillian is hauntingly familiar and so similar to what our second client spoke about when
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she was put into isolation and separated from her child while the medical unit watched the alleged suicide watch. how does this happen? one of the reasons is geo is a for-profit prison, so you cut corners wherever you can. it is a coercive environment. it is a jail. it is not a family residential center. it is a joke to call it a residential center. we have had so many complaints at the conference facility, and the berks facility in pennsylvania. amy: we are talking to barbara hines. she is in washington where she testified before congress. when we come back, we're also joined by olivia lopez, a longtime social worker. she will describe what she
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experienced when she went inside of this detention center. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "no nos moveran" by joan baez. that is "we will not be moved." this is democracy now! democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. our guests are barbara hines and olivia lopez, a longtime social worker who was on the steps of the karnes county residential center where more than 500 women and their children were detained. she is speaking out for what she saw at a hearing organized by the house progressive caucus and democrats from the sherry committee. olivia lopez, thank you for just judiciary committee. olivia lopez -- judiciary committee. olivia lopez, thank you for
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joining us. olivia: thank you for having me. i started atkarnes in 2014 and resigned in 2015. amy: and talk about what you found and what you expected to find. olivia: the most startling thing was the clanging of the doors -- i mean, really, i felt it really was a present at that point. the monitors all over, it just felt like that to me, and later i came to realize that it was that. amy: what were you asked to do? olivia: well, i was hired as a lead license social worker there to do social work with the women and supervise two other employees that would also assist in that effort, so what i discovered in my expenses there were that social work in that
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setting at karnes city was much different than the social work that i know as an employee and as a social work professor, and that is to say the basic functions of advocacy, empowerment, and just engagement were really not part of the interpretation of social work at karnes residential center. amy: did you try to document what you saw? olivia: yes. there is weekly monitoring that occurs and it is a mental health check to see how women are doing and how their children are doing at the bottom part of the form there is a place to list comments or concerns that the women have, and it would be in that place where i would write and long what the concerns were and what they raised. it was on that form that i was
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informed not to write anything down on that beyond that the resident had been instructed on the referral process. so, whatever concerns that resident would have raised would not have been on that form. amy: you your congressional testimony on tuesday, you had some harrowing testimony about a chickenpox outbreak. can you describe what happened and when this was? olivia: yes, it was the mid-part of march, 2015, there was a chickenpox outbreak karnes at, -- at karnes, and my understanding was the main office ordered that all the women and children had blonde drawn to see you had the antigens for the chickenpox
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outbreak, that is to say those that would have a higher risk of getting chickenpox, so all the women and children had to have the blood drawn. so, in some orderly fashion, the women and children were put into the medical department and into the waiting room. they would take the kids and the mother's back to the rooms to draw blood and the kids, really where so frightened and terrified. they cried and they screamed. we all heard it -- i did, for the week or so that it happened, and just one day i came out of my office during the time they were taking the blood draws and i witnessed a small child, less than two, tried to escape the medical department. he was so afraid about the blood drawn -- all of the kids really were, but he was the one that tried to escape, and that is the one i spoke about yesterday. amy: you talk about the women being put in isolation. olivia: yes. amy: solitary confinement.
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federal authorities say this is not a prison but they are put in solitary confinement? olivia: well, certainly it is not called that there, but what i came to understand is when women were being reprimanded, punished, or wanted -- they wanted some -- geo wanted behavior modification, they would be placed in a modification room and they were for punishment, and they were not free to leave the room. they were there for the duration of their punishment, for lack of a better word. amy: what do you think needs to be done? olivia: just like barbara -- we talked about this yesterday, too -- family detention is not a place for these families and children. they are not criminals. they are fighting to save the
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lives of their children. there are other mechanisms to help the lives of these families and children. we have social workers that can serve as case managers to be able to monitor them and serve as the first line of defense for them in terms of sun -- social service needs, mental health care, referrals -- the whole advocacy process which is that of social work, and it seems to me that would be a better mechanism than imprisoning families and children who are not criminals. amy: would you describe what you saw there as child abuse? olivia: since i left karnes, i have had some time to think about that, and i have come to the conclusion that it was child abuse to separate a child from his mother, his or her mother, and the child would also be isolated if, for example, the mother was on a suicide watch. the child would also be isolated
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from the mother, taking care of by a guard the child does not know being by a -- bathed by a nursing staff, guarded by a security guard they do not know. amy: i want to go back to congresswoman judy chu speaking tuesday about her visit to the detention center for women and children in karnes county, texas that is run by the private prison company, the geo group. rep. chu: i keep asking myself why is the government spending money to lock up women and children when there are less expensive alternatives available, such as alternative detention? the answer to this is a private interest in their profits. dhs contracts with the private
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industries like geo group to run the sicilies amend turns a blind eye as to whether they are receiving -- run these facilities, and then turns a blind eye as to whether they are receiving care. amy: she revealed that corporate backers also have the ear of hillary clinton, as one of her donators helped block requirements of the corrections corporation of america respond to friedman duration act requests. barbara hines, can you comment on this? barbara: oh, i think that representative chu said it so well. there is a private mode of in -- motive and this is a prime
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example. there is tremendous lobbying power and no child welfare experience. i do not think in any other fixed -- situation would we ever allow the private prison industry to take care of children, and one of the things that i find so disturbing and so shocking and since i was involved in litigation to end the first litigation center, that was run by cca and when cca open the facility they had little children in prison uniforms three-month old children in person uniforms and they thought that was acceptable. cca is the same facility running the largest detention facility in the country filled with mothers and children. amy: you also saw children being given adult doses of vaccines. barbara: i did not actually see it.
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i was at dilly the day of the incident. i spoke to a mother who was very upset that the child had been vaccinated that day. they told me the nurses and the staff treat her child very roughly. she complained. she told me that her child could not walk. he was feverish. he was in really bad shape and she said to him show her, and he cold down -- he was four years old, he pulled down his pants, and i saw all of these marks and his eyes welled up with tears when he showed them and this wound up being overdosing with hepatitis medication without the content of the parent. amy: we will continue to follow this story. barbara hines, thank you for being with us. now a fellow at emerson cooperative, and olivia lopez.
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this is democracy now. as we moved to our last segment today, we're going to portland oregon, where climate justice activists, including a group of kayaktiviists are loading a ship. earlier this morning, activist with greenpeace repelled from the st. johns bridge important to create an aerial blockade of the vessel. we're joined by annie leonard executive director of greenpeace usa. annie, tell us what is happening and what your group did today. annie: it is a beautiful site as the sun has come up. in the middle of the night 13 brave activist repelled the side of the bridge. they are hanging there now with ropes, creating a human barricade. there are 50 kayaks in the water
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that have a secondary line of defense. the activists are the last thing that stand between shell oil and pathological plans to drill in the arctic this summer. amy: explain how they got this commission and what the people of portland are doing. annie: it is actually inexplicable what they are doing and i wish i could explain it. shall is the last company that wants to drill in the arctic because it is so extreme, so dangerous. the other oil industries have said it does not make sense economically, certainly not environmentally or morally. shall -- shell has every permit it needs except for one last one and our hope is that it will give time to present obama to
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deny this last permit. the boat is an icebreaker and shell demands that it is on site. they are under enormous time pressure because there are only a certain amount of weeks that the region is ice free. in 2012 shell went up there and it was a disaster. they crashed. this time they promised they are safety obsessed, yet the icebreaker in alaska last week ran into something and got a 39 inch hole. it is down there getting repaired. amy: annie leonard, we have five seconds. can present obama do anything about this? annie: absolutely, he can deny the last permit and take a stand for climate solutions. amy: annie leonard, thank you for being with us, executive director of greenpeace usa.
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democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to outreach@democracynow.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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' ' t real quick so that they can talk as long as they can. at the far side is chief caleen sisk. she's the spiritual leader and tribal chief of the winnemem wintu tribe, who practice their traditional culture and ceremonies in their territory along the mccloud river watershed in northern california near mount shasta. in the middle is jeanette armstrong. she is a selx--syilx, uh, okanagan, a fluent speaker of okanagan, and a traditional knowledge keeper of the okanagan nation.

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